Schivo plight underlines the need for worker unity: McCann

Eamonn McCann says high trade union density at the former Schivo factory prevented significant job losses for more than half a century of manufacturing at the Maydown site, which it's feared may now be about to come to an end.

Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 4:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 4:02 pm

The People Before Profit MLA made the comments after the Unite trade union confirmed thirty workers were made redundant at the former Schivo plant.

“One of the main lessons to be learnt from the redundancies at Schivo’s Maydown plant has to do with the necessity for trades unionism,” said Mr. McCann.

“It was the fact that, through the various phases of the plant – Molins, Maydown Precision Engineering, Schivo – the workplace was strongly organised was key to staving off job losses,” he added.

Mr. McCann said a dilution of trade union density, plus the refusal by management in 2015 to adhere to a 1985 Recognition Agreement, had helped lead to the current plight.

“The loss of that level of union strength has now help management to disregard the interests of the workers - and the interests of Derry – in making this drastic move.

“Unite the Union has repeatedly warned about the risk to these jobs following attempts by Schivo to de-recognise the union when they acquired the company eighteen months ago.

“The great efforts of union representatives to maintain levels of organisation in the face of management’s aggression have not been successful in holding the ring.

“More than anything else, this has reflected the marginalisation of the trades unions in every plan or initiative of recent years to revive our local economy. When the interests of business take precedence over everything else, workforces are left vulnerable.

“Workers in other employments should take note and drawn the obvious conclusions.”